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Ron Paul for V.P.?

Posted Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at 9:26 PM

Ron Paul may never be elected to anything higher than the Texas congressional seat he held from 1979-85 and has occupied since 1997. I used to see him walk through the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newsroom during his 1984 U.S. Senate race and took him for a gadfly. But in three presidential campaigns since then, the iconoclastic libertarian has built a national constituency and become a player. He was one of the few who saw the September 2008 economic meltdown coming and told in detail why it could happen. Paul's naysayers were laughing out of the other sides of their mouths when the Wall Street panic and housing market collapse sank Sen. McCain's presidential candidacy and put President Obama in office.

Few Americans are as conservative as Paul, but I enjoy hearing him say most foreign affairs "are none of our business" and most foreign aid is a waste of money. It has been intriguing to see Romney and him being the only Republican candidates to play nice. I had thought it was Romney's deference to Paul's lively constituency but am thinking now that Romney may view him as a potential running mate. The conventional choice would be Santorum, the first runner-up; however, considering the nature of Paul's support, Romney may be thinking he could deliver an extra two or three percentage points in numerous states, which could be the difference in a close race with Obama.

This odd couple could be an effective combination. While Romney's backing is broad but soft, Paul's is narrow but extremely firm. No matter what happened, Romney could count on that base to hold and probably grow. The Paulistas would be so pleased to see their man that close to the top that they would be jumping 10 feet off the ground.

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James R. Campbell
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